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ACEN Citicore JV to start phase 2 of solar farm

Posted on April 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The joint venture of ACEN Corp. and Citicore Power Inc. is set to start constructing the second phase of the Arayat-Mexico solar farm after energizing the 72-megawatt (MW) phase 1 of the project.


“Our construction team is ready to break ground the phase 2 by next month, which will increase the total plant capacity to 116 MW upon completion hopefully before the end of the year,” said Citicore CEO Oliver Tan.


Citicore said the first phase of the Arayat-Mexico solar farm reached its full capacity last March 23, less than a year after it broke ground.


The solar project is expected to add much needed capacity to the grid in time for the demand surge during the hot summer season.


After its successful energization, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) will conduct its own set of test, for grid compliance, which is expected to be completed by the second week of April.


“The on-time energization of this project further demonstrates Citicore’s solid track record in greenfield development to engineering, procurement and construction to plant operations and maintenance, a vertically integrated business model like no other,” Tan said.


“This huge solar plant shall be managed and operated in-house by our Citicore Property Managers Inc., currently, we have eight solar farms and one micro-grid solar rooftops under our management,” he said.


Once fully operational, the 72-MW solar farm will produce 105 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy annually, enough to power 45,000 households while avoiding approximately 72,000 metric tons (MT) of CO2 emissions annually.


“The Arayat-Mexico solar farm is yet another example of how partners leveraging on their collective expertise, experience and determination can deliver a high-quality project safely and on time. I am proud of the teams that worked tirelessly on this project from early-stage development and construction towards operation,” ACEN chief development officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said.


The project is a 50-50 joint venture between ACEN and Citicore and has an estimated cost of P2.7 billion.


Tan said the project would be infused into CREIT “to grow its renewable energy asset portfolio in the coming months.”


CREIT, which is sponsored by Citicore Renewable Energy Corp. (CREC), is ramping up capacity to 780 MWdc (direct current) by 2025, more than five times growth within the next four years.


Citicore – through its subsidiary CREC – operates eight solar plants across the country with an aggregate installed capacity of 163 MW, all of which are 100 percent contracted.


It has a pipeline of 1,500 MW of renewable energy projects to be developed over the next five years.


ACEN aspires to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, with a goal of reaching 5,000 MW of renewables capacity by 2025.


It has 3,800 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines and across the region, of which 3,300 MW are renewable, putting the company in a strong position to reach its capacity target earlier than 2025.